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Class Notes | Obituaries

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Showing obituaries submitted anytime by graduates in the


UGRD Arts & Sciences '57
John W. Gardner Sr.

John W. Gardner Sr. '57 died Dec. 1, 2009. He was born in Philadelphia, PA on Sept. 30, 1930, to William and Mary Gardner. He enlisted in the Navy in 1948 and was stationed at Moffitt field in Mt. View, where he met his wife Janet of 58 years. He served on the Kearsarge aircraft carrier during the Korean War. He went on to the Univ. of Santa Clara where he graduated with Magna Cum Laude in 1957. He retired from Lockheed Missle and Space in Sunnyvale in 1990 after 31 years as a financial manager. He was very active with St. Francis Cabrini Church and the Men's club for over 50 years. He lived out his life for his family everyday of his life. We all loved him dearly and are very grateful to have had him in our lives for so many wonderful years. He leaves his loving wife Janet, Son John Jr. (Susan), daughters Marian Friedrich (Marty), Brenda Perry, Linda Schwartz (Mike), Beloved grandfather to Gina, Jarret, Lindsey, Bryan, Brendan, Kyle, Kirk Jr., Sean, Nick, Matthew, Stephanie, Andy, and Sister Peg McNamara. Mass was held in December, and he was buried in the Santa Clara Mission Cemetery.


submitted Feb. 21, 2010 12:31P
John H. O'Brien

John H. O'Brien J.D. '57, September 3, 2008, in Hollister. After serving in the army and a stint with the attorney general's office in Sacramento, John returned to Hollister; he was district attorney for eight years and city attorney for almost 25 years. He maintained a private practice with fellow SCU graduate Frank Borelli '56, J.D. '60 for 50 years. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Carol; 4 children; and 7 grandchildren.

submitted Jun. 4, 2009 2:40P
UGRD Engineering '57
John Edmund Moran

John Edmund Moran '57 passed away April 29, 2011, surrounded by a loving family after a brief illness.  Born and raised in Stockton, Moran graduated from St. Mary's High School and Santa Clara University, with a degree in engineering. He worked for 30+ years with Granite Construction. He volunteered at the St. Mary's dining hall. John was humble in nature, big at heart, and loved family and flowers. He will be greatly missed by his loving family. He was preceded in death by his father, Sherid Thomas Moran; his mother, Zeta Moran; and his brother, Sherid Thomas "Tim" Moran Jr. He is survived by wife Gwen Moran, his twin sister Carolyn Moran McDougall, nephews Leonard Harrington III (Gay), John Harrington, nieces Sally Lofthus (Jay), Susan Chaney (Tony), Sharon Paul (Curt), Shirley Davis (Willie), and a number of great nieces and nephews.

submitted Jun. 7, 2011 12:39P
James D. Cooney

James Donahue Cooney ’57, at 79 years old, passed away July 3, 2013, in Sonoma. Mr. Cooney was born in San Francisco, where he graduated from St. Ignatius High School. He received his engineering degree from Santa Clara University and served as General Manager and Chief Engineer at the San Francisco Water Department for five years. He and his loving wife, Joann, had moved to Sonoma to retire. In addition to his wife, his close friends Eileen and Donald Holstein and family were vigilant at his time of need. They all referred to him as "Uncle Jim."

submitted Sep. 6, 2013 3:07P
UGRD Arts & Sciences '57
Frederick B. Maguire

Frederick B Maguire '57, J.D. '60 passed away on May 29, 2010 at the age of 74.

submitted Oct. 10, 2011 2:18P
Elliott Chielpegian

Elliott Chielpegian ’57, J.D. ’60 was born October 26, 1935 and passed away September 20, 2012. In his own words, "Just a simple kid from West Fresno," Elliott was born on October 26, 1935, in a bedroom of his parents' house on Kearney Boulevard. Elliott was the third and youngest child born to Armenian immigrants, Michiel and Florence Chielpegian, who owned and operated a small corner grocery store called Boulevard Market. Ellliott attended St. Alphonsus Grammar School and graduated from San Joaquin Memorial High School in 1953. While at SJM, Elliott excelled as a student, played football and basketball, and served as senior class president. Elliott continued his education at Santa Clara University, having never seen the campus prior to his arrival for the first day of classes. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science, cum laude, in 1957, Elliott remained at Santa Clara for law school, graduating in 1960. Elliott cherished the wonderful education he received from the Jesuit priests and law professors at Santa Clara. In an effort to give back to Santa Clara, Elliott served as a Member of the Board of Fellows from 1973 to 1983 and as a Member of the law school Board of Visitors from 1997 until his passing. In 1960, Elliott returned to Fresno. A few years later, in the parking lot of St. John's Cathedral after Sunday Mass, he met the love of his life, Agnes Mathiesen. Elliott and Agnes were married in 1969 and had two sons, Michael '92 and Mark '94 J.D. '97. Elliott practiced law in Fresno for over 50 years. In 1979, Elliott started his own firm, the Law Offices of Elliott D. Chielpegian. Following in their father's footsteps, his sons returned to Fresno to practice law with Elliott and the name of the firm was changed to Chielpegian Law Offices. Known throughout the Valley as an attorney of skill and integrity, Elliott never once lost sight of the fact that the practice of law is a profession, and to him that meant always putting the needs of his clients first. Elliott was an early member of San Joaquin Country Club. He served as club president in 1976. Although he never quite mastered the game, he loved golf because of the unhurried time it allowed him to spend with Agnes, his sons and his many close friends. Elliott enjoyed watching sports, whether it was his grandchildren or his beloved San Francisco Giants. Despite the constant nagging from his family and doctors, Elliott loved to eat. Some of his favorites included salami, Italian sausage, hamburgers, hot dogs, traditional Armenian foods, and homemade ice cream. Jazz also brought much joy to Elliott's life. Elliott's family will be forever grateful for the skill and compassion exhibited by the doctors and nurses at Stanford Medical Center, St. Agnes Hospital and Hinds Hospice during Elliott's final illness, especially Dr. Chooljian, Dr. Chambers, Dr. Hackett, Dr. Wakelee, and Dr. Loo. Elliott was preceded in death by his parents, Michiel and Florence Chielpegian; sister, Doris Chielpegian; sister in law, Juanita Normart; and brother in law, Joseph Marcelli. Elliott is survived by his devoted wife, Agnes; son, Michael and his wife Laura '92; son, Mark; grandchildren, Matthew, Lucy, Gaby, and Cate; sister, Betty Marcelli; and many other loving relatives.

submitted Sep. 30, 2012 7:23A
Bob Ciraulo

Bob Ciraulo ’57 passed away on April 21, 2012. Ciraulo was a dedicated Bronco. He had been very sick for quite a long time. 

submitted Apr. 26, 2012 3:22P
UGRD Engineering '57
Bing C. Chin

Bing Chin '57 passed away on Dec. 8, 2009. Raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Bing moved to California to attend SCU. After graduation, he worked as an electrical engineer in the aerospace industry eventually relocating to Southern California. Bing was married to Betty for 29 years and had three children, Stephanie, Kara and Greg. After being widowed, he was re-married to Jane for the last eight years. Bing enjoyed traveling the world during his retirement. Besides his loving wife and children, Bing leaves his granddaughter Elise, three step-children and six step-grandchildren. The family requests that you share your memories of Bing at

submitted Feb. 10, 2010 11:38P
Bill Horne

Billie "Bill" Horne '57, a friend to all who knew him, died May 27, at age 79 in Twain Harte, California. Bill was born in Mountain View, Oklahoma, and was active in ROTC at Santa Clara University. He served in the U.S. Army as a pilot for 4 years, earning the rank of Lieutenant. Professionally, Bill was active in real estate, including residential and commercial sales and property management. He served on the California Association of Realtors Board of Directors, as president of the Sacramento Association of Realtors, and the National Association of Property Managers, Sacramento Chapter and was active in the Tuolumne County Association of Realtors. He operated his own property management business until his passing. He wrote and taught property management courses and was always an enthusiastic cheerleader for others, providing encouragement, advice and assistance. He will be remembered for his intelligence, professionalism and warm smile. Bill is survived by Jhonnie Horne, his wife of 32 years; sister, Noma Horne; sons, Steven Horne and Chuck Horne; daughter, Janice Horne; stepsons, Duke Darling and Marc Crum; and preceded in death by stepson, Scott Darling. He has 12 grandchildren and 1 greatgrandchild. 

submitted Sep. 9, 2014 4:06P


UGRD Engineering '58
William F. Egan

William Francis Egan ’58 of Cupertino departed from this life surrounded by his loving wife (Mary Ann nee Schwarz) and family on Dec. 16th. Graduate of Riordan (54), SCU (58), and Stanford (MSEE 60, PhD 67). Principal Engineer at GTE Sylvania and ESL. SCU instructor and author of several technical books. Children include John Egan ’90, Michael Egan ’95, Thomas Egan ’88, M.S. ’92, PhD ’05 and William Egan Jr. ’84.

submitted Feb. 1, 2013 12:11P
William D. Coffey

William D. Coffey '58 on Nov. 1, 2008.  A native of Bayonne, New Jersey, he served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and later had a career in the computer industry. He taught mathematics for nine years at Trenton High School. He is survived by seven children and 15 grandchildren.

submitted May. 28, 2009 3:48P
UGRD Engineering '58
Walter Ward Wilson

Walter Ward Wilson '58, born August 5, 1937, in San Francisco, California; died January 5, 2010, in Bellevue, Washington. Survived by Jill, his wife of 51 years; daughter, Janne Sleeper, and granddaughter, Elena Sleep er, of Stanwood; brother-in-law, Jack Krimmer (Barbara), of Wimberly, Texas; and numerous cousins in California. Walt was a devoted husband and father. He had an abiding love for his church, and loved to work in its service. He also had a passion for travel that he fulfilled with his wife, Jill. They toured China, Italy, England, Holland, Egypt and South and Central America, and were able to travel to Ecuador and the Galapagos islands with their daughter and granddaughter last year. Golf was his game, and he spent many joyful hours with his friends on the course. He played racquetball as well, co-running a league in Kirkland for many years. He spent many hours working for the Republican Party and also as an elections official. His working years were spent primarily at the former Rocket Research Co. of Redmond where he was a mechanical engineer. Space and its promise for the future fascinated and drove him in his work. A man generous with his time, his affection and his hearty laughter, he will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved him.

submitted Sep. 3, 2010 10:42A
UGRD Arts & Sciences '58
Vincent T. Burns Jr.

Vincent T. Burns Jr. '58 of Santa Paula and Carpinteria, Calif., passed away from heart failure on June 11, 2014 at his ranch in Santa Paula after a brief illness. Vince was the first child of an Irish family, born September 19, 1936 in Utica, N.Y., to Vincent T. Sr. and Helen (nee Farmer) Burns. Vincent grew up in Pasadena and Coronado, Calif., where his father was assistant manager at the Huntington and del Coronado hotels.

Vince was a member of the class of 1954 at Loyola High School in Los Angeles and of the class of 1958 at Santa Clara University. With his wife of 56 years, Debby, Vince devoted his energies and passions to the Santa Paula Boys Club beginning in 1974. Under Vince, the club was one of the first in the nation to accept girls as members, becoming the Santa Paula Boys and Girls Club. The club enjoyed increased membership and programs under Vince, and was nationally recognized for its after-school programs and role in improving life in Santa Paula. To further the club and his community, Vince was active in Santa Paula's service organizations, including Kiwanis.

Beginning in 1984 Vince devoted himself to the family's orange ranch on South Mountain Road, irrigating, pruning, spraying, and making sure the fruit was picked on time. Since 1996 Vince and Debby have split their time between Santa Paula and their home on Rincon Point Road in Carpinteria. Exacting and imbued with a strong spirit of competition, Vince was always proud of his family's achievements.

He is survived by his wife Debby of Santa Paula and Carpinteria; brother Anthony Burns of Arcadia, Calif.; sister Darcy Williams '70 of Sacramento, Calif.; son Vincent T. Burns III (wife Ann) of Ventura, Calif.; daughter Laura Burns Brown of San Diego, Calif.; and grandchildren Nicholas John Burns, Ventura; Amy Nicole Brown, San Diego; Eric Brown, San Diego; and Emily Laura Burns, Ventura. A family remembrance of Vince's life will take place at a later date. Donations in Vince's name to the Santa Paula Boys and Girls Club or Alcoholics Anonymous of Santa Barbara are appreciated.

submitted Jun. 12, 2014 4:30P
GRD Law '58
Timothy J. Hanifin

Timothy J. Hanifin J.D. ’58, resident of Santa Cruz, died on February 2, at home, after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 81. Tim was born of Irish immigrant parents on May 26, 1931 in Stockton, CA. He grew up in Gustine, graduating from Gustine High School in 1948. Tim attended St. Mary's College in Moraga and graduated from The University of Notre Dame in Indiana with a Bachelor's Degree in English in 1953. He served as an Army Counter Intelligence Agent during the Korean War. After being discharged, he attended The University of Santa Clara Law School, where he received the Outstanding Law School Graduate Award in 1958. Tim practiced law as a trial lawyer specializing in insurance civil defense work. He was a partner with the San Jose law firm of Hanifin, Van Loucks, and Vaught, until he was appointed by Gov. Ronald Regan, in 1972, to the now Consolidated Municipal Court of Santa Clara County. He served there for over twenty years, retiring and moving from Los Altos to Santa Cruz in 1993. Tim was an avid reader and enjoyed sharing his extensive library with others. He was a devotee of music from jazz to classical. He enjoyed sports, history, religion, fishing, and woodworking. Tim was known for his generosity to charities and individuals. He was a member of, the Family of St. Joseph, Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, Charter Member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Thomas More Law Society, Symphony League of Santa Cruz County, and many other organizations. Tim is preceded in death by his sister Kathleen Pesco. He is survived by his sister Ellen Hanifin of Santa Cruz, his brother Patrick Hanifin (Mary Jane) or Brea, five nieces and nephews, and eleven grandnieces and grandnephews. 

submitted Apr. 18, 2013 2:55P
UGRD Leavey Business '58
Robert L. Ward
Robert L. Ward ’58 passed away on January 28, 2011. He is survived by his wife Kathleen J. Ward and daughters, Noreen Kakalec ’87 and Vivian Beaulieu ’82
submitted Feb. 28, 2011 11:36A
UGRD Arts & Sciences '58
Richard P. Traina

Richard P. Traina '58, former president of Clark University, passed away at his home in Charlton, Mass., on March 8 at age 73 after living with cancer for several years. Traina served as president from 1984 to 2000, and he oversaw a period of remarkable growth that included renewed emphasis on education programs, a significant increase of the endowment, and construction and renovation of physical facilities. His work with the city of Worcester, particularly the Main South neighborhood, was groundbreaking. Through his example and under his directive, Clark began working with its neighbors to establish the University Park Partnership, which has brought renewed vitality to the Main South neighborhood. The partnership has since become a national model for urban university/community collaborations, and the University Park Campus School is touted as a national school reform model. Clark also helped establish the Main South Community Development Corporation, a vehicle organized to stimulate affordable housing and small business development in Clark’s surrounding neighborhood. “Dick will long be remembered for his passion and commitment to Clark. His energy and insights were essential in transforming the University and the community around us,” said current President David Angel. “Dick was a friend, colleague, and mentor to the many people whose lives he touched.”

submitted Mar. 23, 2011 11:15A
Michael Allen Crouch

Michael Allen Crouch '58 was born in San Mateo, California, on October 17, 1935, the youngest of Stanley and Madeline Crouch's six children. His family moved to the Westwood section of Los Angeles, California, just a few years later. He attended St. Paul the Apostle Grammar School, Loyola High School, and the University of Santa Clara. His career was in the flavor and fragrance industry, having worked for many years with his father, who brought both his sons into the business.

Mike is survived by his brother, Blaine, and sister, Joaun; his wife, Lori, and their son, Patrick; Mike's son, Michael Lee (Karen), and daughter, Cami (Paul) -- children from his previous marriage to Nancy Hunydee (deceased); four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and a wonderful abundance of  nieces and nephews, and other relatives.

On Tuesday, October 18, he joined his mother, Madeline, father, Stanley, and three sisters, Jacqueline, Patricia, and Jeanne, who predeceased him. He died in Tucson, Arizona, in the loving company of family members.
Mike's humor, kindness, and compassion made him beloved by all who knew  him.

Donations may be made to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center or a charity of your choice . Or, you may honor Mike's memory by emulating him and practicing acts of kindness and generosity.

submitted Nov. 9, 2011 8:40A
UGRD Arts & Sciences '58
Joseph Anthony Miller

Joseph Anthony Miller ’58 of Red Bluff, Calif. died on Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 12:38 am at Mercy Medical Center, Redding, Calif., at age 75. On October 24, 1935, Paul Ernst Miller and Vera O'Brien Miller welcomed their fourth child, Joseph "Joe" Anthony in Portland, Ore. Joe attended St. Agatha's Grade School and Central Catholic High School in Portland. He enjoyed and excelled at sports especially golf and football. He played on the 1952 & 1953 Oregon State Championship teams and selected as an all state player. He continued his education the University of Santa Clara in California. During the summers, he worked in one of the family lumber mills. He graduated with a B.S. degree in Political Science. He then worked at various large accounting firms in the Bay Area and Portland including Ernst & Ernst & then moving to Redding to work for Muncy, McPherson of San Francisco. This firm left Redding so Joe moved to Portland. In Portland, he met Barbara Deklotz, and they married in April 1964 and moved to Red Bluff in June, 1964 where Joe began self-employment. He became a partner in Moore and Miller which later became Moore, Miller and Evanhoe. Later, he became of sole CPA practitioner. He served on the Red Bluff City Council from 1970 to 1974. He belonged to BPOE, Wilcox Oaks Golf Club, and Red Bluff Rotary. In 1966, he replaced Camille Hart, as Secretary/Treasurer of the Red Bluff Round-Up Association and never missed a board meeting in over 35 years. Barbara and Joe had three children; Heidi Miller Murdock, who died at 32 of leukemia; Peter Miller in Vernon, Conn.; and John Miller '91 in San Francisco. Joe loved accounting and auditing and working with his clients. As leisure, Joe always had projects: fixing up old houses and cars and making pomegranate jelly in his garage during football season. His Irish wit, honesty and loyalty endeared him to his family and friends. Survivors include: Barbara Miller, wife; Peter Miller, son; Nathan & Maya Miller, grandchildren; John Miller, son; Michael Miller, brother, Portland, Ore.; Susan Beal, sister, Berkeley, Calif.; Martha Alstadt, sister, Portland, Ore.. Family precedent was Paul Miller, brother, Portland, Ore.


submitted Feb. 14, 2011 3:02P
John J. Collins

John Joseph Collins '58, 77, passed away on Dec. 26, 2013. He was born Dec. 13, 1936 in Los Angeles, Calif. John was a pillar of the legal community in Southern California from the time he passed the bar until his death. He was a former president of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, a former president of the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, a former president of the Los Angeles County Bar, a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He was a proud father, grandfather and a loving husband. John is survived by his wife, Patricia; daughters, Cynthia, Pamela and Lauren; sons, James, Robert, John and William. His daughter, Andrea predeceased him.

submitted Feb. 3, 2014 8:41A
UGRD Arts & Sciences '58
James Leininger

James Leininger '58 was a skillful Santa Clara County defense attorney, a crusader for social justice and a member of a family with deep roots in San Jose. But as a recovering alcoholic, he was known just as well for helping others emerge from the shoals of substance abuse -- be they lawyers, nurses, cops or Hells Angels.

Leininger, 78, of Gilroy, died March 19, 2014 of leukemia at Stanford Medical Center, where he had been undergoing an experimental treatment for his illness.
"He loved what he did, and what he did was to help people. And that's what made all the difference,'' said Jim Gleason, the executive director of the Santa Clara County Independent Defense Counsel Office.
As a lawyer, Leininger enjoyed taking the toughest cases, ones other lawyers shunned. In the 2010 trial of the men accused in the killing of Los Gatos restaurateur Mark Achilli, Leininger represented middleman Miguel Chaidez, who was accused of paying the triggerman.
"He was confident, but he wasn't arrogant,'' said his son, Michael Leininger. "He would dissect a jury and find the most appealing way to get to them.''
Leininger was a member of "The Other Bar,'' a confidential lawyers' recovery group. And he helped found the organization now known as We Care, which has helped more than 3,000 nurses with substance abuse problems.
For much of his 45-year career as an attorney, Leininger had to balance work with the demands of caring for his wife, Helen, who suffered from chronic illness. The two had met at the Sears store on San Carlos Street in San Jose, where both worked as clerks. Helen Leininger died in 2009.
Leininger was born at O'Connor Hospital in San Jose on January 23, 1936, the son of Carl Leininger, who became San Jose's city engineer, and Mary Leininger, a homemaker. The third of seven children, Leininger came from a family devoted to public service and social justice. A brother, William, was a Catholic priest. Another brother, Robert, became a ranking official in San Jose's redevelopment agency.
A 1958 graduate of Santa Clara University, Leininger worked in War on Poverty programs in the mid-'60s, graduated from Lincoln Law School and served as executive director of the Catholic Council on Social Justice.
In that job, he shamed the San Jose City Council into rejecting a bid from the Elks Club, which at the time discriminated against nonwhites, to sponsor a circus at the Civic Auditorium. Leininger pointed out to a wavering Councilman Norm Mineta, later a mayor and congressman, that he would not be able to join the Elks because of his Japanese descent.
Leininger is survived by his son, Michael, Gilroy; two daughters, Kelly Douglas, Los Gatos; and Trish Loughnane, Woodland Hills, and seven grandchildren.
submitted Mar. 24, 2014 12:22P
Gordon Abbott

Gordon Abbott '58, July 12, 1930 - November 7, 2013. A resident of San Jose, Gordon Abbott passed away after a difficult and valiant battle with cancer. His family was paramount and he enjoyed participating in his children and grandchildren's activities. An ardent sports fan and active in the community, he was also well known for his political involvement. He served on the Campbell Union School District Board of Trustees from 1971 through 1982, the San Jose Council Salary Setting Commission from 1986-1994 and on the Governor's Advisory Board for the Agnew Development Center from 1998-2009. He also served on the Santa Clara County G.O.P Central Committee from 1958-1963 and 1994-2005, earning the nickname "Mr. Republican".
Gordon was born in Baltimore, Maryland and graduated from Issaquah High School, Issaquah, WA and earned a degree in Business from Santa Clara University. He was an accountant and served as a corporate finance officer for several small businesses over his career.

Gordon is survived by his loving wife, Mayme, devoted children Gordon Abbott of San Ramon, Philip Abbott of Dallas, TX and Wendy Abbott Sarsfield '83 of San Francisco, Daughters-in-law Holly Mueller Abbott of San Ramon and Tracy Driscoll Abbott of Dallas, TX and grandchildren Matthew and Nicholas Abbott of San Ramon, Sydney, Maggie and Jeffrey Abbott of Dallas, TX and Patrick and Megan Sarsfield of San Francisco.
submitted Nov. 15, 2013 3:17P
Gerald L'Estrange

Gerald C. L’Estrange ’58 passed away on May 3, 2014. He was born January 28, 1935. He was so proud to have graduated from SCU and has been a true supporter over the years.

submitted Aug. 14, 2014 9:46P
GRD Law '58
Delbert Nelson Dilbeck


Delbert Nelson Dilbeck J.D. ’58 passed away at the age of 78 from advanced pancreatic cancer on Jan. 16, 2011, at his Springfield, Va. home with his two sons at his side. He is survived by his sons, Eric M. Dilbeck of Fairfax Station, Va., and Bradford T. Dilbeck of Santa Barbara, Calif. and grandchildren Ryan, Connor, Samantha, and Sean. Born in Stockton, Calif., he completed a tour in the United States Navy (1950-1954), married his soul-mate, Joan, in 1956, and earned a law degree at Santa Clara University Law School in 1958. After many years practicing law in Stockton, he began a 20-year career in the FBI in 1972. He was a deputy assistant director at the FBI headquarters in Washington and also served as special agent-in-charge of the Knoxville and Chicago offices. After retirement, Del and his wife returned to their Springfield, Va. home. Del will be remembered as a devoted husband and father as well as for his wisdom, willingness to help others, and his integrity.


submitted Feb. 15, 2011 10:44A
GRD Law '58
Ben C. Francis

Ben C. Francis J.D. '58 on Jan. 13, 2009.  He is survived by his wife, Bernice, and three children. 

submitted May. 28, 2009 3:30P
Arthur Lafranchi

Arthur Lafranchi ’58 died from heart and kidney failure in Santa Rosa on Oct. 14, 2012. He was 76.

For the past half century, Petaluma resident Arthur Lafranchi switched between overalls and briefcases as he juggled his career as a prominent Sonoma County attorney and a dairy/grape farmer.

Born in Petaluma, Mr. Lafranchi was raised on a dairy in Nicasio in rural western Marin County. He was educated in a tiny-one-room school in Nicasio, and after three years, transferred to San Anselmo’s Elementary School in San Anselmo. He went to Marin Catholic High School and graduated in 1954.

Mr. Lafranchi majored in political science at Santa Clara University and went on to Law School at the University of San Francisco, where he graduated in 1962. After earning his law degree in 1963, he opened a practice in Petaluma and chose to focus on estate planning, trusts and real estate. Years later, he moved the practice to Santa Rosa. He went on to become a Sonoma County attorney a with a career spanning nearly 50 years. In 2010, he was honored by the Sonoma County Bar Association for his “Career of Distinction.”

In addition to his success as an attorney, his passion remained in the dairy business. His family maintained the dairy in Nicasio and went on to obtain properties in Petaluma, Valley Ford and Santa Rosa. In 1976, he and his wife, Diane, opened a new dairy in Santa Rosa, later built a home on the property, and operated the business to the present day. In 2009, they expanded into the wine business and converted 61 acres of the property into a vineyard.
In July, he was honored to be inducted into the Sonoma County Farm Bureau Hall of Fame.


submitted Oct. 22, 2012 12:53P
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